Dominic Cummings faced the media on May 25 to report every day about his fight against the corona virus and his controversial trip to his parents' farm in Durham.
The prime minister's top aide faced a one-hour television grill on Downing Street after it turned out that he and his family had traveled 260 miles north of London in March while the corona virus was blocked.
He told of his own struggle with the virus, which his wife Mary Wakefield had caught, and insisted that he acted "reasonably and legally" in a "very difficult, complicated situation".
The news of the trip sparked rage among NHS officials, bishops and Tory MPs, twenty of whom demanded Mr. Cummings' resignation as Boris Johnson claimed that his advisor was "acting responsibly and with integrity".
Mr. Cummings stated in his own words a schedule of events and said:
26th of March
On Thursday March 26th, around midnight, I spoke to the Prime Minister.
He told me that he tested positive for Covid. We discussed the national emergency regulations for No. 10 given its isolation and what I would do in No. 10 the next day.
27th of March
The next morning I went to work as usual. I was in a series of meetings about this emergency. I suddenly got a call from my wife, who was at home and was looking after our four-year-old child. She told me that she suddenly felt very sick.
She had vomited and felt helpless. And there will be no one to take care of our child. None of our usual childcare options were available. You were alone in the house.
After briefly telling some of what had happened to some officers in No. 10, I immediately left the building, ran to a car, and drove home. This was reported by the media at the time I ran out of number 10.
After a few hours, my wife felt a little better. There were many critical things at work and she urged me to return in the afternoon and I did.
I returned home that evening and discussed the situation with my wife. She was sick. She could have Covid even though she had no cough or fever.
March 27: Dominic Cummings runs downing Street on the day that Boris Johnson and Health Secretary Matt Hancock tested positive for coronavirus
At this point, most of the people I work with most, including the Prime Minister himself and others who sit within 15 feet of me every day, either had symptoms and had returned to work or were absent with symptoms.
I thought there was a clear chance that I already got the disease. I had a few conflicting thoughts in my head.
First, I was concerned that there was no one in London that we could reasonably ask to take care of our child and expose Covid if my wife and I were both seriously ill, possibly in the hospital.
My wife felt that a few hours earlier she was unable to take care of him safely. I thought what if the same or worse happened to me?
There is no one here that I can reasonably ask for help. The regulations make it clear, I believe that the risks to the health of a young child were exceptional and I had a way of dealing with them that minimized the risks to others.
Secondly, I thought that if I did not develop symptoms, I could possibly work again to deal with the crisis. There has been ongoing discussion of testing government officials to keep people like me working rather than isolating them.
At this point, on Friday, consultants like me had not yet been included in the list of people tested. However, it was possible that this would change the following week. So I thought I could continue working after the negative test.
The prime minister’s top aide faced a one-hour television grill on Downing Street today after it turned out that he and his family had traveled 260 miles north of London
Third, there have been numerous false stories in the media about my actions and statements regarding Covid. In particular, there were stories indicating that I had spoken out against the ban, and even then many deaths did not matter to me.
These stories had created a very bad atmosphere in my house. I was exposed to threats of violence. People came to my house and called threats.
I was also concerned that the situation would worsen given the seriousness of the emergency. And I was concerned about the possibility of leaving my wife and child at home all day and into the night while working at No. 10.
I thought the best thing I could do in any circumstances was to drive to a remote cottage on my father's farm. My parents live in a house on this farm.
My sister and her two children live in another house, and there was a separate house about 50 meters away from them.
My preliminary conclusion on Friday evening was: If neither of us is able to take care of our child, my sister or niece can take care of him. My nieces are 17 and 20. They are old enough to take care of him, but also young enough to be in the safest category. And they had kindly volunteered to do so when needed.
But I thought if I didn't develop symptoms and there was a test regime at work, I could go back to work if I tested negative.
In this situation, I could leave my wife and child in a safe place, safe in the form of family support for shopping in emergencies, safe in the sense that I am not at home, which has become a goal and also safe for everyone else because they were completely isolated on a farm and couldn't infect anyone.
Parents 'home: The home of Cummings' parents in Durham, 260 miles away, that he visited during the closure
There are no neighbors in the normal sense of the word. The nearest other houses are about half a mile away. In this scenario, I thought that they could stay there for a few weeks. I could go back to work, help colleagues, and everyone, including the public, would be safe.
I didn't ask the Prime Minister about this decision. He was sick himself and had big problems to deal with. Every day I have to judge such things and decide what I want to discuss with him. I thought I would speak to him if the situation cleared up in the coming days, including whether I had symptoms and whether tests were available.
That was probably a mistake, and I understand that some will say I should have spoken to the Prime Minister before I made a decision.
So I drove the three of us to Durham that night and arrived around midnight. I didn't stop on the way.
When I woke up the next morning, March 28th, I was in pain and clearly had Covid symptoms, including severe headache and severe fever.
Obviously, I was soon unable to return to work. We were both sick for a day or two. I was in bed.
My wife was sick, but not sick enough that she needed emergency help. I got worse. It got better.
2nd of April
On the night of Thursday, April 2nd, my child woke up. He vomited and had a bad fever. He was very desperate. We took medical advice to call 999.
An ambulance was sent and they examined my child and said they had to go to the hospital.
I could hardly get up. My wife went to the ambulance with him. I stayed at home. He stayed in the hospital the night.
3rd of April
In the morning my wife called to say he was recovering, he seemed normal again. The doctors tested him on Covid and said they should go home.
There were no taxis. I drove to the hospital, picked her up and returned home. I have never left the car or made contact with anyone on this short trip.
The hospital said a few days later that he had tested negative.
After recovering one day in the second week, I tried to go outside.
At some point the three of us went into my father's woods next to the hut where I lived. Some people saw us from afar in these forests, but we had no interaction with them.
We hadn't left the property. We were on private land.
On Saturday April 11th, I still felt weak and exhausted.
Otherwise I had no Covid symptoms. I thought I could go back to work the next week, possibly part-time.
I was looking for expert medical advice. I explained the symptoms of our family and all times and asked if it was safe to go back to work on Monday, Tuesday, find childcare, and so on.
I was told that it was safe and that I could go back to work and look for childcare.
On Sunday April 12th, 15 days after I first showed symptoms, I decided to go back to work.
My wife was very concerned, especially because my eyesight seemed to be affected by the disease.
She didn't want to risk an almost 300-mile trip with our child because I was so sick.
We agreed that we should take a short drive to see if I could drive safely.
We drove for about half an hour and landed on the outskirts of Barnard Castle. We didn't visit the castle.
We didn't walk through the city. We parked on a river. My wife and I discussed the situation.
We agreed that I can drive safely and we should turn around and go home.
I felt a little bit sick. We walked about 10 to 15 meters from the car to the nearby river bank.
We sat there for about 15 minutes. We had no interactions with anyone. I felt better. We returned the car.
An elderly gentleman walking nearby seemed to recognize me. My wife wished him Happy Easter from afar, but we had no other interaction.
We went home. On the way home, our child needed the toilet. He was in the back seat of the car.
We drove to the side of the road, my wife and child jumped into the forest on the side of the road.
They were outside briefly. I briefly joined them. They played a bit and then I got out of the car and went outside.
We were briefly in the forest. We saw some people some distance away. But we have never violated social distance rules. We then got back in the car and went home.
"We drove about half an hour and landed on the outskirts of Barnard Castle," he said
Robin Lees says he saw someone here in Barnard Castle on April 12th who "looked" like Mr. Cummings, and the "distinctive" license plate he took off corresponds to Mr. Cummings' car
On Monday evening, April 13th, Easter Monday, we returned to London. The next morning I went back to work at number 10.
At no time between arrival and departure in Durham did one of the three of us enter my parents' or sister's house. Our only exchange was from a distance. My sister bought for us and left everything outside.
There have been a lot of media reports in the past few days that I returned to Durham after April 13th. All of these stories are wrong.
During these two weeks, my mother's brother died with Covid. There are media reports that this has had some impact on my behavior. These reports are wrong.
This private matter had no impact on my movements. None of us saw him. None of us attended his funeral. In this very complex situation, I tried to exercise my judgment as much as possible.
Mr. Cummings (pictured today) reported on his own fight against the virus and insisted that he acted "reasonably and legally" in a "very difficult, complicated situation".
The news of the trip sparked rage among NHS officials, bishops and Tory MPs, twenty of whom demanded Mr. Cummings' resignation when Boris Johnson (pictured today) said his advisor was "acting responsibly and with integrity".
I believe that I have acted sensibly and lawfully under all circumstances to reconcile the security of my family with the extreme situation in No. 10 and the public interest in effective government that I could contribute to.
I've been involved in decisions that affected millions of people and I thought I should try to help as much as possible. I can understand that some people will argue that I should have stayed in my house in London all the time.
I understand these views. I know the intense need and sacrifice that the whole country had to go through. However, I respectfully disagree. The legal regulations inevitably don't cover all circumstances, including those in which I was.
I naturally accept that there is room for reasonable disagreement about it. I could also understand that some people think I shouldn't have gone anywhere.
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